Get behind the wheel of a car in the UK and you’ll have quite a few driving laws to abide to. Drive in another country though and you’ll also have to make yourself aware of their own rules of the road. This poses the question; should some road laws only used in foreign countries currently be introduced across the UK? Vindis, a VW dealer, aims to find out..
Should Brits be fined due to bouts of road rage?
This road law is enforced in: Cyprus
A large fine could be the result of you giving another driver a rude gesture with your hands or waving a fist at them in anger when driving in Cyprus. The law is linked to motorists being penalised if they unnecessarily raise a hand from their steering wheel while on the road.
The UK seems to have so many instances of road rage. According to a poll carried out by Tyreshopper.co.uk and involving 2,000 UK motorists, 61 per cent of respondents said they had fallen victim to either a verbal or a physical attack during a 12-month period. The same survey also established that one in five motorists were left too scared to get back behind the wheel after the ordeal.
Road rage has also been looked at in depth by the Accident Advice Helpline. They recorded that the average road-related bout of anger across the UK will only last for a few seconds but can take over four minutes for the driver to calm down entirely.
The Accident Advice Helpline’s David Carter pointed out: “It’s very easy to get frustrated while driving — it happens to nearly all of us at some point.But road rage can end up being really dangerous. If you experience a bout of road rage, you may end up driving more erratically than whoever annoyed you in the first place.”
Should it be compulsory to drive on the snow only with snow chains or winter tyres?
This road law is enforced in: Italy
If it snows in Italy, motorists across the parts of the country concerned will only be able to drive in vehicles which have either winter tyres or snow chains fitted. Fail to follow this law and a driver can expect to be slapped with a fine if caught by the authorities.Neither of these items are obligatory when the wintry weather hits across the UK.
With the effects of the Beast from the East in 2018 still relatively fresh in our memories though, should this change?When blizzard conditions swept the nation at the end of February and into March, traffic came to a halt for several hours on the M80 between Glasgow and Stirling, various parts of the A1 were closed several times, and thousands of drivers were left stranded on roads throughout the UK.
Looking at this topic more generally, Continental Tyres suggests that there are 6,393 more accidents which involves a car on roads across the UK during the winter when compare to those recorded throughout the summer. Despite these findings, a poll carried out by Falken tyres found that a quarter of drivers refused to invest in a set of winter tyres due to the cost being too high in their opinion and 19 per cent said they couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of changing their tyres.
An alternative for Brits has been provided by Falken’s UK director Matt Smith, who explained: “Switching to an all-season tyre could well be the solution for Britain’s drivers unwilling to commit to pure winter tyres. With many sizes on offer, it is often possible to find a tyre that fits the standard rims, eliminating the cost and hassle of having an extra set, solving another issue raised in the survey.”
Should Brits have to carry a breathalyser kit in their cars?
This road law is enforced in: France
Don’t forget to pack your breathalyser kit in your vehicle or motorcycle when planning to drive in France. The devices are there so that motorists can check whether or not they are exceeding the drink-drive limit.There are several penalties in place if a motorist is caught drink-driving in the UK. A guilty party can expect a hefty fine, a ban from driving, and possibly even imprisonment.
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise if this same road law was eventually introduced throughout the UK. This is especially after the Department for Transport reported that around 9,040 people were injured or killed on roads across Britain in 2016 after being involved in incidents where a driver was found to be over the alcohol limit to be behind the wheel.
Morning-after drink-drivers may also fall in number if breathalyser kits had to be placed within their vehicles at all times. This is after a survey commissioned by the AA involving close to 20,000 motorists suggested that one in five motorists had driven the morning after drinking during the previous day — despite the drivers being aware they may still be over the drink-drive limit.
Speaking to the BBC, the AA’s president Edmund King acknowledged: “I think people have kind of got the message when they go out in the evening, so they’ll book a taxi or they’ll have a designated driver and they’ll be responsible.But once they get home, they go to bed, they have some sleep, and then they kind of think well I’m OK, it’s the next day.
“So, they’re not equating the next day with what they’ve actually drunk and the problem is if you really have had a lot to drink, your body can only really break down one unit of alcohol per hour…it is relatively easy to be over the limit the next day.”
Should Brits have to carry an additional pair of prescription glasses?
This road law is enforced in: Spain
You must always carry a spare pair of glasses in your vehicle when behind the wheel in Spain and requiring the use of prescription glasses. Fail to show a spare pair and you could be penalised with a small fine.
Over two million people live with sight loss across the UK, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) suggests. The RNIB predicts that this number will surpass 2.7 million people by 2030 before hitting close to four million by 2050.
There are measures enforced by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) regarding driving and sight loss mind. You can find full details about the parameters here. Furthermore, figures which were released to Optometry Today following a Freedom of Information request revealed that the DVLA had either revoked or refused 42,519 car and motorcycle licences between 2012 and 2017 due to poor vision. During the same period, it was also found that 6,739 lorry and bus drivers had lost their licence as a result of their failing eyesight.
Despite all of this, there are still concerns related to this topic. According to a survey carried out by road safety charity Brake, for instance, a quarter of drivers in the UK haven’t had a vision test in the past two years from when the poll was conducted. What’s more, four per cent of respondents had never had their eyes tested.
Within Optometry Today, the Association of Optometrists’ clinical adviser Trevor Warburton stated: “In the UK, there is currently no requirement for drivers to have regular sight tests. We believe that compulsory vision screening for all motorists would help ensure that drivers’ vision meets the required standards, significantly reducing the risk of someone having an accident due to their poor vision.”
Should the UK have a ‘colour coding’ system to fight back against major congestion?
This road law is enforced in: Manila, the Philippines
Do you have a holiday in the Philippines planned and hoping to rent a vehicle so that you can get around the capital city Manila’s metro area? If so, you’ll want to top up your knowledge on the district’s ‘colour coding’ system. Introduced as a measure to prevent major congestion throughout Manila, the law is linked to the final digit of a vehicle’s number plate. There are a few regulations in place, such as vehicles with a number plate ending in the number 1 or 2 being restricted from driving in Manila’s metro area between 7am and 7pm on Mondays.
There surely wouldn’t be much opposition if action was taken to fight against congestion throughout the UK. After all, a study conducted by traffic data firm INRIX has suggested that the UK is currently the 10th most congested country across the globe and that London is the second most gridlocked city in Europe, behind only Moscow.
Direct costs were analysed as part of INRIX’s research.This included wasted fuel and time being examined, as well as looking into indirect consequences like the higher prices being charged for household goods because of increased freight fees. From this data, the organisation calculated that drivers in the UK wasted 31 hours last year when they were stuck in rush-hour traffic — at a cost of £1,168 per motorist.
INRIX’s Chief Economist Dr. Graham Cookson noted: “Combined with the rising price of motoring, the cost of congestion is astonishing — it takes billions out of the economy and impacts businesses and individuals alike.
“With the Office of National Statistics showing more cars on the road than ever before, we need to consider innovative new approaches to solving the issue. Increased flexible working or road charges have potential, however, transport authorities should be looking to exciting developments in data analytics and AI which promise to reinvent our approach to traffic management.”